I worked in restaurants when I was a teenager and young adult. I paid my own way through college on those jobs and luckily I lived in California that at that time did not have substandard wages for tipped employees. Otherwise I would never have been able to make it through. There is absolutely no reason a business should be able to pay less than minimum wage and prosper off at the expense of their employees. Tips are not guaranteed. They are a gift from the patron, and while a tipped employee may end up making considerably more than minimum wage, it is hard work. You body wears out carrying heavy trays and being on your feet for hours on end, and high end restaurants often hire only the young and beautiful servers so it is a job where you can quickly find yourself aged out of a decent living.